Brachycephalic syndrome in dog breeds

Many breeds of dogs show severe shortness of breath and respiratory distress, very heavy snoring at night, and rapid fatigue that can often lead to cyanosis and even death. This disease usually affects dogs such as the French Bulldog, English Bulldog, Pug, Boston Terrier and others.

The cause is the anatomical construction of the excessively narrow nostrils, which do not allow enough air to enter the lungs, and the excessively large and “loose” soft palate in the oral cavity. This difficulty of breathing can be compared to what a person experiences when trying to run up a flight of stairs with a plastic bag over the head tied around the neck.

The condition is very serious and dangerous enough to even cause death in such an animal. To provide relief, surgical intervention is inevitable.

In a case that appeared in our clinic, a bulldog with severe respiratory distress and snoring, we combined two procedures and performed neutering at the same time as correcting the nostril constriction.

Preoperatively, a complete blood test for vital signs was performed and oxygen was administered; plastic surgery followed to correct the nostrils, making them completely symmetrical, which is important not only for aesthetic reasons but also for the patient’s improved function and quality of life. The soft palate was considered non-pathological and there was no reason for its resection.

The patient woke up immediately and continued to receive oxygen until he regained full consciousness, and after a full clinical examination he was able to return home.

If you have a dog of a brachycephalic breed, ask your vet to assess the animal’s ability to breathe and, if necessary, refer you to a specialized surgeon for treatment of the problem. 

Don’t let your pet suffer all its life – give your dog the gift of easier breathing and a huge improvement of its quality of life!

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